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Conference Quarterfinal Weekend Preview

By Rowdies Communications, 10/24/19, 1:15PM EDT


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (October 24, 2019) -- The Tampa Bay Rowdies start their playoff journey this weekend with an exciting Eastern Conference Quarterfinals matchup against Louisville City FC on Saturday night. 

Here's a look at the four quarterfinal matches on our side of the bracket.

No. 4 Louisville City FC vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saturday, 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Louisville City closed the season in impressive fashion to climb to fourth place and host this weekend's match. The two-time defending champions have so far proven to be untouchable in postseason matches played at home, but the Rowdies hope to end that streak Saturday night.

Tampa Bay was disappointed to lose on the final weekend of the regular season and have to open the postseason away from home, but the regular season is in the past. Tampa Bay gutted out a 2-2 draw in its visit to Louisville late last month, despite trailing 2-0 with three minutes to go and playing down a man. These teams drew both meetings this year.

No. 1 Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs. No. 10 Birmingham Legion FC
Saturday, 7 p.m. | ESPN+

Pittsburgh secured the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win in Birmingham last weekend and is unbeaten at home all year with a record of 10-0-7.

Birmingham advanced to this match with a dramatic 3-2 win on the road over North Carolina FC on Wednesday night in the Play-In Round with JJ Williams scoring the final minute of second half stoppage time. Legion FC fought hard against Pittsburgh last weekend, conceding in the 90th minute. Birmingham lost both regular season meetings.

No. 3 Indy Eleven vs. No. 6 New York Red Bulls II
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. | ESPN+

Indy is playing its home postseason matches at an alternate venue due to schedule conflicts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Eleven were unbeaten at home this year with a 13-0-4 record, but very few of its players have ever played a match at its new "home" venue of Michael A. Carroll Stadium.

New York slipped to the sixth seed primarily because it has lost its last six road matches by a combined score of 19-7, conceding more than three goals per game. The Red Bulls split their season series with Indy.

No. 2 Nashville SC vs. No. 9 Charleston Battery
Saturday, 8 p.m. | ESPN+

Nashville fell just short of winning the Eastern Conference regular season title, but still looks strong heading into the postseason. Forward Daniel Rios led the Eastern Conference in scoring with 20 goals and goalkeeper Matt Pickens won the USL Championship Golden Gloves.

Charleston was forced to play 120 minutes in Ottawa on Wednesday night but ultimately advanced by making all five penalties in a shootout. The Battery split the regular season series with Nashville this year, but did knock Nashville SC out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on penalty kicks in May.